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Justice Department files antitrust lawsuit against Google
The Justice Department along with 11 states (States of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas) have filed an antitrust lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to preserve a monopoly for its flagship search engine and related advertising business, illegally choking off potential competition.
“Absent a court order, Google will continue executing its anticompetitive strategy, crippling the competitive process, reducing consumer choice, and stifling innovation. Google is now the unchallenged gateway to the internet for billions of users worldwide. As a consequence, countless advertisers must pay a toll to Google’s search advertising and general search text advertising monopolies; American consumers are forced to accept Google’s policies, privacy practices, and use of personal data; and new companies with innovative business models cannot emerge from Google’s long shadow. For the sake of American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy, the time has come to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition.”
Page 7 of DOJ Complaint
Anticompetitive Tactics to Maintain & extend its Monopolies
The Justice Department alleges that Google, which controls around 90% of global internet searches has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising.
“If the government does not enforce its antitrust laws to enable competition, we could lose the next wave of innovation. If that happens, Americans may never get to see the next Google.”
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen
The lawsuit also includes allegations that Google paid billions of dollars to mobile phone manufacturers to allow its Chrome browser to be used as a default search engine on smartphones
Attorney General William Barr said “Convincing evidence that Google no longer competes only on the merits but instead uses its monopoly power – and billions in monopoly profits – to lock up key pathways to search on mobile phones, browsers, and next-generation devices, depriving rivals of distribution and scale.”
The Justice Department’s suit is the most significant antitrust lawsuit since the case against Microsoft Corp. in 1998 under former president Bill Clinton, which nearly led to the company’s breakup.
Google disagrees with the Government’s Lawsuit
Google disagrees with the government’s lawsuit and called the complaint “deeply flawed that would do nothing to help consumers” in its official statement.
“People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”